My 91-year old mother is declining in mood, verbal skills and social responses

Jun 11th, 2020

My 91 year old mother, who  has dementia, diabetes and is wheelchair dependent, lives in a private, for-profit nursing home in northern Ontario.  She suffered 2 unwitnessed falls in less than 24 hours in early September, 2019. Prior to that she was ambulatory with assistance of a walker. Unfortunately the second fall resulted in a concussion and she never walked again, presumably because her behaviour changed with the injury, and she was not “cooperative”, making rehabilitation difficult.

Before Covid she received extra care (meal assistance and social stimulation) every day of the week from family and private caregivers as well as professional foot care provided by the Victorian Order of Nurses.

Since Covid restrictions, during video calls, we have noticed a decline in her mood, verbal skills and social responses. In addition, her feet and nails have deteriorated without any extra care. The nursing home does not provide advanced diabetic foot care. My mother is confined to a unit on the 3rd floor, making any ‘window visits’ impossible. Our area does not have a long summer season so even outside interaction would be short lived.

As an RN, I don’t understand how infection control principles, screening and PPE can not be utilized by select family, private caregivers and foot care nurses to enhance my mother’s quality of life.

Debbie S.